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Hardball With Chris Matthews

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Iran 12, Pennsylvania 8, Us 8, Obama 7, Philadelphia 5, America 5, Intermezzo 4, Selma 4, Joe Biden 3, Terry O'neill 3, New York 3, United States 3, Engel 2, Duracell 2, Steve 2, Marjorie Dannenfelser 2, Sam Stein 2, Hagel 2, Ahmadinejad 2, Obama Administration 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2013)  (CC)  

    January 22, 2013
    11:00 - 11:59pm PST  

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applicable to every situation. no foresight can anticipate nor any document of reasonable length contain express provisions for all possible questions. that is abraham lincoln calling the constitution organic law. and saying that the constitution could not possibly have anticipated our every governing question. i invite you to imagine if you will, just close your eyes and just imagine the right wing outcry. if president obama called the constitution organic law. instead of saying this. liberals have always understood that, they understood it when president lincoln said it and when president obama said it. but conservatives have never, ever understood that when times change, so must we. and the day conservatives
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actually do understand that, they will no longer be conservatives. obama land. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. yesterday we discovered the obama doctrine. put simply, it's to continue the american revolution well into the 21st century. defined economic equality for women, full equality all out for gay people. and full political and financial opportunity for people of color. everything about yesterday
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screamed with this manifesto from the makeup of the crowd to the people in the inaugural platform to the entertainment to the words of the address to the jaunty walks along pennsylvania avenue by barack and michelle and the wild and woolly greetings of vice president joe biden. we're all part of this. they were shouting we're in this together and we're going to act together and we're going to try to open dialogue with those who would be our enemies abroad. we're not looking for another war this time and under this president we're looking for a way to avoid one. because these wars as we've all learned the hard way are a lot easier to start than to finish. let's start with this astounding presidential embrace of the ongoing american revolution from lexington and concord to seneca falls, selma, and stonewall. sam stein covers politics for "the huffington post," and stephanie schriock is president of emily's list. let's start with the message of inclusion and community in the president's address yesterday. many have noticed his preference for three iconic places with historic significance in the
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fight for american rights. let me run through them. first, seneca falls, new york, where in 1848 elizabeth cady stanton and others led a historic convention dedicated to women's rights which later led to a women's right to vote, of course. selma, alabama, the city where civil rights demonstrators fought for voting rights for african-americans in the march of 1965 only to be met violently by armed state troopers in a day that has since been known as bloody sunday. and the stonewall inn, often thought of the birthplace of the lgbt rights after a gay bar was raided by police in 1969 and for days became the site of protests and riots. here is the president yesterday. >> we, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths, that all of us are created equal, is the star that guides us still just as it guided our
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forbearers through seneca falls and selma and stonewall, just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great mall to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone. to hear a king proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on earth. >> the iconic nature of that speech, we americans love brands. we love iconic moments, whether it's the golden gate bridge or niagara falls or these things that sort of scream america to us. for him to take these three cases, seneca falls for women and stonewall and, of course, selma, what did it mean to you watching this? >> it was an incredible moment. as a young woman, as an american in this country, to hear him speak about equality and the fight for equality that has started in the beginning of our country and will continue on, thinking about seneca falls, and you mentioned the date.
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it took 72 years after seneca falls before women got the right to vote. and now we just had a historic election where there are more women in congress than we have ever had before. it's really an incredible movement, and i work at emily's list, and emily's list has been working on it for 28 years to get more women on the pipeline. and we are picking it up. >> sam, it seems to me that the president was almost like an ich bin ein berliner speech. he's a man of color himself. but to embrace all of this together, i have never heard any of it -- none of this they. there was no they. it was all we, a lot of we. >> keep in mind, i thought the theme was that change can spark from the individual. in all these cases you have change being a grassroots entity, but it has to have a component of the state and government to help foster it, and the line that really stuck out to me was these truths can be self-evident, but they're not self-executing. what he made was a case for why there is an important role for the government to play to basically protect our rights but also to advance us as a society
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whether it's on climate change, immigration reform, bank regulations, and so on down the list. it was a progressive case, but it wasn't necessarily a big government case. saying there's a mix of -- >> let's talk about some examples. i think you know them. the right wing ideas of rights is leave me alone, i got enough guns here in this house to hold you off for a couple days anyway if the government comes in with helicopters. progressives' idea of rights is a couple young people would like to go to the university of mississippi. it took the federal troops to go in there to get them in the door. a governor named george wallace tried to stop people at the door at the university of alabama, they had to be pushed aside. that's an aggressive communitarian notion of rights where you have to get together to get it done. you don't hide out in a line shack with a couple guns and say this is my idea of rights. >> it's about community. women didn't have the right to vote until 1919, and it took individual women and communities of women and the american people ultimately to come together and say, this is the right time, we need to make this change. >> but you feel the positive embrace. it wasn't like a bunch of humorless suffragettes with
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placards like those people, activists. >> no, we're in it together. that's what was so great about this speech. we're in it together. and we're standing together whether it's women or lgbt members or african-americans, hispanics, immigrants. this is the melting pot. >> here is the president's message. it was one of inclusion, as you just said, stephanie, and yesterday was the first inaugural to include, believe it or not, not believe it or not, the word gay. just one word. there it was flashed across our screens. let's listen. >> our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. our journey is not complete until we find a better way to
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welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see america as a land of opportunity. until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. >> there's grievance there, not just rights. people waiting in line. i said this before, i was lucky to be there when south africans first got the vote, all south africans, and they waited for four or five hours, and i thought that was unbelievable. and then to watch people in america, in this advanced society of democracy, having to wait eight hours. it looked like a punitive action by republicans, to be blunt about it, from state legislatures and big capital cities that decided, you know
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what? let's make it hard for these people. maybe we can cut down that vote. >> that's one of those great underreported stories of the 2012 campaign is the extent to which the people deliberately made it harder for others to vote, which was i thought sort of reprehensible. >> and the federal government, since we're talking about practical stuff, can obama, the president, get something done with eric holder and the voting rights people, maybe not historic voting rights like in the 1960s, but can they intervene in states and say we don't like the way you've been doing this. i know it's a state issue, but we don't like the way -- we think you're prejudicing against black people and young people. >> sure. i wonder if the justice department would want to take on the case. it's a little dicey, but you saw political backlash with rick scott saying maybe i overdid it. i'll extend those voting rights now that we're past -- >> now that he's up for re-election mind you. >> let's go back for a second. like you said, the use of the word gay, the talk of immigration reform, culturally this president is so much beyond where we were in the past. can you imagine any of those topics coming up 4, 8, 12 years ago? >> how about coming up if romney had won? >> no, they wouldn't come up. but this president represents the modern generation, the society, and the gay rights issue which is so predominant. >> let me tell you, i don't believe -- and i think none of us at the table believe this --
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that rights are somehow zero sum. certainly some people can think of their rights which overrun other people. talking in the movie theater, i would not consider it a valid right. just a point for me. most of the time when you get to be able to get into a school because you're black and you weren't allowed to get in before, that's an opportunity generally. here he is, here is a point of view that disagree was that. john harris and jonathan martin wrote in politico that obama's speech was an argument for liberal causes. quote, it demonstrated there are more people on his side, immigrants, minorities, liberal-minded young people and women, beneficiaries of big government, than there are on the other side, older whites, cultural traditionalists, wealthy and upper middle class earners, who recoil at what they see as the remorseless expansion of government and resent being stuck with the bill. i don't believe every bit of rights extended to people carries a price tag. i think you can give opportunity to gay people, to minorities, to young people, to all kinds of people. that doesn't mean, oh, somebody else isn't getting it. i don't buy that, and also somebody else is going to have to pay for it.
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i think that's an economic way of looking at -- perhaps an accounting way of looking at it in a way i don't buy. your thoughts. >> i often think they're thinking about ultimately it's power. where is the power situated in the country, and when we're talking about women and immigrants and hispanics, does that mean some of the power that's been tied up so tightly -- >> you're right on that. so it's been a monopoly, then it's not a monopoly. we don't have much time, and i'm fast. i talked about the word gay being used, which grabbed some people. climate change. reference to climate change and the denouncement of science deniers was lauded by the left. of course it had to be. let's listen to the president say something that i don't think has been said before. >> we, the people, still believe that our obligations as americans are not just to the ourselves but to all posterity. we will respond to the threat of
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climate change knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms. the path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult, but america cannot resist this transition. we must lead it. >> well, rush limbaugh challenged him today because people who are listening to rush are driving cars and using up fossil fuel and they're not driving smart cars or priuses. no, they're driving big gas burners, but the fact is there's still that sort of know-nothingism, if you will, that -- i'm trying to think of the great word. you don't believe in anything. luddites. is this going to change things?
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>> maybe not, but it was sort of symbolic of the whole address which is that it's time to stop having sort of side debates over issues we no longer can deny. >> how about balanced argument? there's really -- in other words, some things have been decided by science. >> correct. and, you know, we spent a good two years now talking about the huge threat that our debt is when arguably the warming of the planet, which could be irreversible, is a much larger threat than our national debt. what obama was trying to say is we need to have a reasoned discussion. i'm tired of saying this side and this side, let's meet in the middle. let's acknowledge certain -- >> the republican party had up until recently acknowledged a common science, and then as part of this crazy admission requirement for the republican candidacy for president, you have to disown all that, all that knowledge. >> that's exactly right. i think he felt so comfortable saying what he said yesterday because the american people were with him on election day.
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you know, they stood up and they said, no, this is time for reasonable discussion on issues. this wasn't just one set of issues. the american people, and our research at emily's list has shown that particularly women voters, just want some common sense discussion on these issues to look for policies to lead us forward. >> the speech is being interpreted as a defense of liberalism. i saw it as him saying these are issues to talk about. he wasn't outlining specific means of confronting them. wasn't saying government has to solve all the problems, but he was saying we can no longer deny this is a problem, this is a problem, and that this is a problem, and we need to come together and do something about it. it was a progressive vision, but it wasn't a big government speech. >> i think it was a personal statement of what he believed and what he valued. this wasn't written by a bunch of speechwriters, at least the final edition was pure him. stephanie, it's great to have you on. i see why you're a leader, and i can pronounce your name. stephanie schriock from butte, montana, if you're wondering where that nonaccent came from. thank you, sam stein. i come from where we have one.
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coming up, the neocon game. one of president obama's loudest messages was no more perpetual wars. that's a rebuke to the hawkish crowd, and these days the war they're itching for is iran. guess what? they may have to wait. republicans have figured out they can't win presidential elections by getting enough people to vote for them and they can't win by keeping democrats from voting. so now they're trying to rig the system so that their candidates split the electoral votes in big blue states democrats have been winning. it's not constitutional, just desperate. one more sign that the cultural wars are moving the progressives' way. a new poll finds for the first time the majority of americans want abortion to be legal in almost all cases. finally, it turns out that one of the most memorable things that happened yesterday didn't actually happen. ♪ and the home of the brave
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♪ the brave >> it wasn't exactly milli vanilli, but beyonce wasn't singing yesterday. she was lip syncing to her own recorded voice, and she wasn't the first to do that on a cold inaugural day. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ]e emergency workers everywhere trust duracell...?? duralock power preserve. locks in power for up to 10 years in storage. now...guaranteed. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere.
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or treat gas with these after you get it. now that's like sunblock before or sun burn cream later. oh, somebody out there's saying, now i get it! take beano before and there'll be no gas. initial estimates say the crowd at yesterday's inaugural was at least 1 million people. that's down from the 1.8 million who came out to see president obama sworn in the first time, but even so, a turnout of a million people put's obama's second inaugural at one of the biggest ever. look at that crowd. it's almost double who turned out to see george w.'s second inaugural and tops the 800,000 who saw bill clinton sworn in. before obama the previous crowd estimate record was 1.2 million who came out for lbj, lyndon johnson's inaugural back in '65. we'll be right back. for the new mattress models,
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welcome back to "hardball." president obama yesterday signaled the era of never ending wars is over. well, that was a direct rebuke to the neoconservative war party. i also thought i heard some key lines that might be a sign of what's to come in his second term foreign policy. let's listen to a bit of what the president said yesterday. >> we, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. our citizens seared by the memory of those we have lost know too well the price that is paid for liberty. the knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm, but we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn
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enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well. we will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully, not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. >> that's what i like about president obama and one of the many reasons i like him, because of that. could that be an olive branch the president might extend to nations such as, let's say it, iran, and if so, will they respond in tehran? richard engel is nbc's chief correspondent, and steve clemons is the editor-at-large for "the atlantic." richard, it's great to have you with us safe and sound. let me ask you about that. i had a sense as a political observer that the president was talking directly to the mullahs, to the people over there who really have the power, saying, look, maybe we can avoid a war, avoid a bombing campaign by us or israel if we can talk away from this weaponization of
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nuclear arms over there. how did you read it? what happened over there? >> i think he was talking to a lot of different audiences, and he was saying that i'm different than the previous administration. i'm not president bush. a lot of people around the world still remember the united states, even though there's been four years of a barack obama presidency, for the wars in iraq and the wars in afghanistan and military interventions and the drone policy, and he was trying to say we can work peacefully. we have to build on the peacemakers, and i think that is a message that will be received by people in iran, will be received by certain communities in iran, but there is a big divide in iran. there's the qods force which feels very empowered and very aggressive. if he's extending an olive branch, i think there will be some parties in iran that will be taking it and other parties that will just be seeing this as some sort of trick because this administration has also been very tough on iran, particularly as far as sanctions are concerned.
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>> steve? first of all, do you think the message will get to the person it's intended for? >> i think there is. i think there's an audience of one, with due respect to richard whom i adore. but i think ayatollah khamenei is the person barack obama was trying to reach with this. we've seen in president ahmadinejad's speeches recently a relaxation of the commentary and the demonization of obama. obama and these actions they have imposed are squeezing iran, collapsed the oil export part of the economy of iran, and the iranian currency is in free fall. they're feeling a lot of pressure, but we don't know a lot about khamenei and how he sees the world. this was a line meant to reach him specifically, and i think that is -- this is part of moving to what "the new york times" talked about before, which is the probability of bilateral negotiations between iran and the united states. >> well, you know, richard, here in the politics of america,
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you're overseas in the risky areas and i'll talk to you about that later, but it seems to me the people heard the same message on both sides of the american argument. i noticed today "the weekly standard." bill kristol and i found the same line of the president's speech the most memorable about turning enemies in friends. two points, first our forbearers were only able to win the peace because they first crushed our enemies in war. but under president obama we're not committed to winning our wars. we're committed to ending them. does obama really think we're going to win the peace after not winning the war? second, think about the formulation "and not just." surely president obama should have said this, we are also heirs to those who won the peace as well as the war, but he didn't say that. the formulation obama chose, "and not just the war," suggests that obama believes that it's no big deal to win a war, and the greater achievement is winning the peace. with respect to world war ii, this feels ludicrous. with respect to today's world, this view is dangerous. back to the question, and this
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is really a philosophical argument, not your home turf, you cover the reality. but the philosophical argument, the neocons do seem to believe you must win. you can't end wars, you must win them. knowing it's terrain you cover, how do you win any final war? is it always about trying to find an alleviation from war? >> well, just to clarify a little bit on iran and then to talk about the winning of the war. >> sure. >> i think that there's -- ahmadinejad is almost irrelevant at this point. khamenei, the grand ayatollah, the supreme leader, is going to replace him with someone of his own. that's the next leader of iran, the next practical leader will come from his camp. and it's not clear that that camp is going to reach out to the obama administration, that that camp is interested in a peace offering even if the economy is in free fall. it might be convinced that its own survival is intrinsically linked with a conflict with the united states. so even if he's reaching out and
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he has an intended message of one, it's unclear if that message is going to be received. in the middle east the idea of winning and losing is a little different. there's a much longer historical perspective. the muslim brotherhood, for example, doesn't see this election by morsi or other muslim brotherhood gains as a victory. it's a step on the road to establishing a world as it existed before the collapse of the caliphate, before the disaster, as it sees it, of all the world war i agreements. so it's about winning battles as opposed to winning a decisive war that's going to have a decisive peace. >> richard, you're optimistic this might get through? >> i think i am -- >> i mean steve. >> i think richard is absolutely right. we don't know ultimately how they'll respond, and there's an awful lot about khamenei we
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don't know, but i think the white house realizes that before it could ever go down the road of much tougher either sanctions or even the very last resort of military course, that this is the kind of outreach that has to happen, and with ahmadinejad's speeches, i agree with richard he's not significant, but the fact he's relaxing his speeches means khamenei had him do that. he is a puppet. >> i think you have to talk a little before you start bombing. thank you, rich engel. we'll get back to you at some time and talk about your captivity. we had our worry beads out. >> thank you. >> as we should have. up next, yesterday was the president's big day, but didn't you get the idea that the vice president -- there he is -- you can't not laugh sometimes at joe biden -- was thinking about inauguration four years from now? he worked that inaugural crowd like it was a ward in iowa and this was a caucus meeting. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ female announcer ] going to sleep may be easy, but when you wake up
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back to "hardball" and now to the "sideshow." tracking joe biden. it was a jam-packed day yesterday for everyone involved in the inauguration from the ceremony to the parade to the evening events. the president's right-hand man, by the way, was on his game the whole time and loving it. the day started with a church service just before 9:00 a.m. and was nonstop from there. >> i, joseph r. biden jr., do solemnly swear. >> that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. that i will well and faithfully discharge. >> the duties of the office on which i am about to enter. >> the duties of the office upon which i am about to enter. >> so help me god. >> so help me god. >> congratulations. [ cheers and applause ] >> the president will forgive me, as we were walking out and he was, as he said, savoring the
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moment, looking out at the crowd and all those americans assembled. i found myself, surprised me even, turned to him and saying thank you. folks, i raise my glass to a man who never, never, never operates out of fear, only operates out of confidence, and i'm toasting you, chuck. you can't get rid of me, man. remember, i'm still part of the senate. >> how you doing? come on! come on! yes! yes! >> good evening. i am jill biden's husband, and i came along with my whole family, which is standing over there in the wings. it's a real honor to be here
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tonight with, i'm told, 25 medal of honor recipients. as a matter of fact, it's not an honor, it's literally humbling. you are such incredible soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines. they tell me you're going to witness something that i would rather actually be in a helicopter with one of you heading somewhere into action because i'm going to dance in front of all of you and make a fool of myself. so be patient. >> well, for anyone questioning whether the vice president has the energy for a presidential campaign a few years down the line, i think we have an answer. and this might be the inauguration day disappointment for a lot of viewers. here it is. ♪ the rockets red glare ♪ the bombs bursting in air ♪ gave proof through the night
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♪ that our flag was still there ♪ >> well, that was, of course, beyonce singing the national anthem or, as we found out today, beyonce lip syncing the national anthem. while she appeared to be belting out her way to the final notes, it turns out we were hearing a prerecorded track, lyrics included. this isn't a new occurrence. yo-yo ma used an audio track during the event though he had something of an excuse. apparently you can't play the cello in 25 degree weather. finally a glimpse at a possible inauguration day low for the first lady, michelle obama. this was during yesterday's luncheon at the capitol. everyone was eating and listening to a speech by senator chuck schumer when this happened. >> i think we really deserve a round of applause to our chef -- >> did you see that dismissive
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head shake there? catch that eye roll there. looks like she didn't like the conversation much going on or coming at her from boehner. up next, republicans have figured out they can't win presidential elections fair and square, so now they want to change the rules. they want to cheat a little. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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back to "hardball." ♪ welcome back to "hardball." just when you thought the efforts by some republicans to suppress the vote couldn't sink any lower, wait until you hear -- get a load actually of what they have in store for 2016 in several states. republicans are floating proposals that would change the rules of how electoral votes are allocated making it easier for them to win. here is how it would work. right now in all but two states the winner of a state's popular vote gets all of its electoral votes.
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republicans want to change that but only in certain states so the votes would be divided up by congressional districts and awarded proportionally. efforts are being considered, for example, in pennsylvania, michigan, wisconsin, virginia, and ohio. what do these states have in common? they all voted twice for president obama. rnc chair reince priebus backs the scheme and acknowledges the rationale behind it, quote, it's something a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at. in other words, if the state votes democrat for president and is controlled by a republican governor and state legislature, maybe you can swing it back the other way through a little jingling here, a little jiggling. also, just how desperate is the republican party? if they can't win playing by the rules, it seems, as we see here, that they decide they can change the rule. ed rendell is the former governor of pennsylvania and michael crowley is with "time" magazine. it looks like they're looking at states like pennsylvania that has traditionally been a democratic presidential state. explain the game they might be playing or up to at least. >> well, it's very simple. barack obama carried the state in the last election by 5.5 points. but the way the vote came in for obama, it was concentrated in philadelphia and pittsburgh, two big areas that had significant
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democratic representation. if you did it district -- congressional district alone, out of the 19 congressional districts, governor romney would have carried 13, president obama only 6, and if you gave the two bonus electoral votes to the president, it would have been 13-8. if you decided to pass a law that said the bonus two go to whoever wins the most congressional districts, it would have been 15-8 in favor -- excuse me, 15-6 in favor of governor romney even though he lost the state by a very significant majority. >> but wouldn't you have maybe not riots but something close to it if the word got out in philadelphia, for example, that the state had gone by popular vote by, as you say, five points, for example, and yet the state's electoral votes had gone by and large to the republican. wouldn't people just go crazy on hearing that all their efforts to vote were eliminated by manipulation in harrisburg? >> absolutely.
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and this is a case of be careful what you wish for, chris, because i think if the republicans push this in states like pennsylvania, wisconsin, and the others, michigan, what you're going to have is the national popular vote, which is under the radar screen -- i don't even know if you have talked about it on your show -- it's a movement to get states to pass laws saying they will cast 100% of their electoral votes to whoever wins the national popular vote. already seven states and the district representing 132 electoral votes, states like california and new jersey, illinois, for example, have passed laws saying that as soon as 271 electoral -- states representing 271 pass the same law, it becomes law in those states. so that would end the electoral college, effectively -- >> do you think -- where are you on that? we've been debating that since high school, you and i. what do you think is better for the country, electoral college or popular vote for president? >> popular vote for president. popular vote for president. too many states are ignored.
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we have a ten-state election right now. if you had a popular vote carries, we'd have a 50-state election. >> let me go to mike crowley. this republican movement in certain states, especially in harrisburg where they just can't win statewide because in philadelphia last time it was like a 500,000 vote plurality coming out of the city, an 85% coming out of philadelphia, around the same in pittsburgh. mike doyle's district. so you have four cds in philadelphia, together a huge plurality of democratic votes basically wasted when you go in terms of cd counts. are the republicans up to something that looks naughty and they don't care if it looks naughty and they don't care how cheap this looks. >> they apparently don't. i'm surprised they're as willing to talk about it as openly as they are. >> reince priebus. >> it looks like a party that is failing in fair play. their coalition is shrinking. the other side is expanding --
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>> is this their demographic challenge, that they're going to be outnumbered by african-americans and hispanic voters and young people generally so let's fix it. >> i don't know what their true motivations are, but what it looks like and what it will look like is a party that's panicking. they're desperate. they can't win. the demographic trends are working against them. they don't want to reform the parties in the ways required to expand their coalition, so they're going to try to change the rules. to the question of a national system, if you're going to make a change, if you don't like the way it works, change it across the country. don't -- it's just kind of sleazy to cherry pick the states where it's advantageous for you and try to change the rules in those places. >> governor, your thoughts about this. if we go to a national election, it is your preferred option, and get away from the games played with chads and dimpled chads and the crap we put up with in florida. don't we have to go to the same election machines?
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physically voting. it ought to mean the same thing in albuquerque as it means in albany. you put a machine in and you pulled it out and it said you voted there. you didn't scratch through something or push through something or some other crazy way of voting. >> we passed the national bill to sort of regulate presidential elections, but, yeah, we'd have one machine, chris, and that's the way it would be done. i think what mike was referring to is if they're going to do it in pennsylvania, wouldn't it be fair to do it in texas where right now democrats get zero electoral votes, but if you adopted this system, we'd probably pick up 10 or 12 in texas. >> what do you hear from your old colleagues in pennsylvania? have republicans given up in a lot of these states, new york, connecticut, new jersey, and they're figuring all we can do now is jigger the machine a little bit? your thoughts, governor? >> i think absolutely. i think you hear this. the point mike made about the demographics changing, most african-americans and latinos
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and young people cluster in urban areas. so you'll give up the urban areas anyway, those congressional votes would go to the democrats, but you'll pick off the other areas where there aren't so much a congregation of minority voters or young voters. it's really a despicable movement. >> particularly in the context of the voter suppression efforts we saw before that -- >> and it's reince priebus again, by the way. the same leadership. this isn't michael steele, our new colleague here. this is the reince priebus administration pushing all these tricks. thank you, ed rendell, governor of pennsylvania for so many years, and mike crowley. thank you for joining us. up next, 40 years after roe v. wade, a majority of americans want abortion to be legal, pure and simple. it's another way the progressives seem to be winning the culture wars. it's very clear, the latest nbc numbers we just got today, and this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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well, chuck hagel is making the rounds on capitol hill trying to win over support for his nomination as defense secretary. today he met with senator john mccain who has been a vocal critic of the obama administration. on a lot of fronts. late this afternoon he and hagel had a frank and candid conversation in which they discussed some of mccain's concerns. mccain also called hagel an old friend. it's worth remembering both men are veterans of the vietnam war, and that's certainly a band of brothers. we'll be right back.
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january 22nd, 1973 will stand out as one of the great days for freedom and free choice. this allows a woman free choice as to whether or not remain
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pregnant. this is extraordinary. >> welcome back to "hardball" that clip is from nbc news nightly 40 years ago when the supreme court handed down that roe v. wade decision. today our brand-new nbc news/wall street journal poll shows that for the first time in the history of the poll, our poll, a majority, 54% say abortion should be legal always, or most of the time. and the percentage of people who say roe v. wade should not be overturned has been rising steadily for over 20 years, topping at 70% in today's poll. despite the poll numbers, state level republican numbers have enacted a record number of bills restricting abortion. the number spiked in 2011 at 92 bills and continued in 2012 with 43 bills enacted. well, terry o'neill is president of now. and marjorie dannenfelser is from one of the leading
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organizations in the anti-abortion rights. ladies, thank you so much for joining us. what your reaction, marjorie to the poll we have out that says a majority of people do support a woman's right to choose an abortion, and oppose getting rid of roe v. wade as a principle. >> you know what i really think? i think that the poll has been fundamentally flawed over years, and that it gives the person answering the question misinformation. it says that roe outlawed abortion for only -- would only allow abortion to be legal in the first trimester. what is more important is the long succession of polls over time that have shown that every demographic except for the self-defined democrat demographic has been more and more pro-life over time.
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>> would you define what pro-life means in that poll? would you define what pro-life means? >> yes, we do. >> how so? >> what are the specific limitations that you would prescribe. and in fact the poll, one of the reasons that poll is flawed, that is the msnbc poll is that it says outlaw or not. >> let's go back to another point of view. terry o'neill, respond. do you think our poll is appropriate when it asks people whether abortion should be legal most of the time? what do you think is accurate here? i think there is a hell of a statement being made by this new poll. your thoughts. >> the poll is incredibly important. and the question that it asks is absolutely appropriate. roe versus wade stated that the state government and the federal government can't criminalize abortion in the first three months, that it is a fundamental constitutional right. now, after the first three months under the roe case, the state could have an increasing right to restrict access to abortion. but really, based on women's health needs.
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and the roe decision was very clear that women's health is paramount. later decisions in the supreme court i'm sorry to say have slipped on protecting women's health. but what is really fascinating to me about the poll is that people do care about women's health. even when they're asked -- i've seen other polls as well. if abortion is recriminalized, should there be exceptions for women to protect their health? and the overwhelming answer is yes. and also exceptions for rain and incest. >> have i the take issue with the actual -- the characterization of what roe did. the first and second trimester were proscribed, you could not -- you could not make any limitations on abortion up until viability. after only for the health and life of the mother. so that meant that pretty much up until the time of birth, there were no restrictions allowed. >> up until the time of viability. >> let's cut to the chase here. what do you think ought to be
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done in american law right now that's not roe v. wade? what would you do? >> i would say what the givens are. >> what would you do under the law? quickly. >> because of the realization, especially among young people that there are two people involved, we can have technology and all a of that, but it is relevant, chris. >> what is the law should be? >> the law should be, that it should protect both. it should protect mother and child. >> criminal sanction? >>. no it should protect mother and child. >> how do you do that by law? and the what the best thing that could be done right now to stop the marches that are going on, look at the march on friday. it's going to be mostly young people, the biggest march that has ever happened. >> what is the best law rather than roe v. wade? >> the best law right now is to close the gap between public opinion and law and go ahead and vote in common ground measures. don't tax things that people think are the killing of human beings. >> okay, great. >> go ahead and allow parental consent. >> i don't think you can put a woman in prison for having an abortion.
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>> have i said that? have i said that? >> you're talking around it. >> no, i'm not at all. i'm talking about common ground. >> every time i talk about someone outlawing abortion or banning it, what is the law? please tell me what the law is in simple english. >> why did you ever have a sentiment in this regard at all? why did you ever feel there was any -- >> because i want to know what the position is of the pro-life people on the law. please tell me. it's not about morality. >> it's the humanity of the unborn child and humanity of the. with a. and the law should be common ground. common ground now is lack of specific planning. >> until you do, i have a hard time understanding the pro-life. >> that's a great talking point, but that's not really working out. >> back your talking point with a pack. thank you, terry o'neill, and marjorie dannenfelser. we'll be right back. it's hardf and go back to sleep. intermezzo is the first and only prescription sleep aid approved for use as needed in the middle of the night
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when you can't get back to sleep. it's an effective sleep medicine you don't take before bedtime. take it in bed only when you need it and have at least four hours left for sleep. do not take intermezzo if you have had an allergic reaction to drugs containing zolpidem, such as ambien. allergic reactions such as shortness of breath or swelling of your tongue or throat may occur and may be fatal. intermezzo should not be taken if you have taken another sleep medicine at bedtime or in the middle of the night or drank alcohol that day. do not drive or operate machinery until at least 4 hours after taking intermezzo and you're fully awake. driving, eating, or engaging in other activities while not fully awake without remembering the event the next day have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations, or confusion. alcohol or taking other medicines that make you sleepy may increase these risks. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. intermezzo, like most sleep medicines,
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